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Glossary

Appeal (Appeal Rights)

You will receive a letter of explanation whenever Social Security makes a decision regarding your eligibility for disability benefits. If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal.

Application for Benefits

Application for Benefits To receive Social Security disability benefits, you must complete and sign an application.

Birth Certificate (Original)

The record maintained by a governmental entity such as a state, county, parish, city, or borough that documents your birth.

Child

The term "Child" includes your biological child or any other child who can inherit your personal property under State law or who meets certain specific requirements under the Social Security Act, such as:

  • a legally adopted child,
  • an equitably adopted child,
  • a stepchild, or
  • a grandchild.

           

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments may be automatically increased each year to keep pace with increases in the cost-of-living (inflation).

Credits (Social Security Credits)

Previously called "Quarters of Coverage." As you work and pay taxes, you earn credits that count toward your eligibility for future Social Security benefits. You can earn a maximum of four credits each year. Most people need 40 credits to qualify for benefits. Younger people need fewer credits to qualify for disability or survivors benefits.

Decision Notice (Award Letter or Denial Letter)

Social Security will send you an official letter explaining their decision and, if benefits are payable, it will tell you the amount you will get each month.

Direct Deposit

The standard way to receive Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Your money is sent electronically to an account in a financial institution (bank, trust company, savings and loan association, brokerage agency or credit union).

Disability Benefits

You can get disability benefits if you:

  • are under full retirement age
  • have enough Social Security credits and
  • have a severe medical impairment (physical or mental) that’s expected to prevent you from doing "substantial" work for a year or more, or have a condition that is expected to result in death.

           

Documents (Proofs)

Forms and papers such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, W2 forms, tax returns, deeds, etc., submitted by individuals applying for benefits and services. Only originals or copies certified by the agency that has the original document are accepted.

Evidence (Proofs)

"Proofs." The documents you must submit to support a factor of entitlement or payment amount.

Family Maximum

The maximum amount of benefits payable to an entire family on any one worker’s record.

FICA Tax

FICA stands for "Federal Insurance Contributions Act." It’s the tax withheld from your salary or self-employment income that funds the Social Security and Medicare programs.

Food Stamps (Food Stamp Program)

The U. S. Department of Agriculture program that helps needy families buy food.

Insured Status

If you worked and earned enough Social Security credits to be eligible for retirement or disability benefits or enable your dependents to be eligible for benefits due to your retirement, disability, or death, you have insured status.

Lawful Alien Status

People admitted to the U.S. who are granted permanent authorization to work by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (formerly INS) or admitted to the U.S. on a temporary basis with USCIS or INS authorization to work.

Medicaid

A joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs for people with low incomes and limited resources.

Medicaid programs vary from state to state, but most health care costs are covered if you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare

The federal health insurance program for:

  • people 65 years of age or older;
  • certain younger people with disabilities; and
  • people with permanent kidney failure with dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease).

           

OASDI (Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance)

The Social Security programs that provide monthly cash benefits to you and your dependents when you retire, to your surviving dependents, and to disabled workers and their dependents.

PIA (Primary Insurance Amount)

The monthly amount payable if you are a retired worker who begins receiving benefits at full retirement age or if you're disabled and have never received a retirement benefit reduced for age.

Protective Filing Date

The date you first contact us about filing for benefits. It may be used to establish an earlier application date than when we receive your signed application.

Representative Payee

If you receive Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and become unable to handle your own financial affairs, we (after a careful investigation) appoint a relative, a friend, or an interested party to handle your Social Security matters. Representative payees are required to maintain complete accounting records and periodically provide reports to Social Security.            

Retroactive Benefits (Back Pay)

Monthly benefits that you may be entitled to before the month you actually apply, if you meet the requirements.

Self-employment Income

You are self-employed if you operate a trade, business or profession, either individually or as a partner, and have net earnings of $400 or more in a taxable year.

Social Security

Social Security is based on a simple concept: While you work, you pay taxes into the Social Security system, and when you retire or become disabled, you, your spouse and your dependent children receive monthly benefits that are based on your reported earnings. Also, your survivors can collect benefits if you die.

Social Security Number (Social Security Card)

Your first and continuous link with Social Security is your nine-digit Social Security Number. It helps us to maintain an accurate record of your wages or self-employment earnings that are covered under the Social Security Act, and to monitor your record once you start getting Social Security benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

A federal supplemental income program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It helps aged, blind, and disabled people who have limited income and resources by providing monthly cash payments to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

Wage Earner

A person who earns Social Security credits while working for wages or self-employment income. Sometimes referred to as the "Number Holder" or "Worker."

Wages

All payment for services performed for an employer. Wages do not have to be cash. The cash value of all compensation paid to an employee in any form other than cash is also considered wages, unless the form of payment is specifically not covered under the Social Security Act.

Widow(er)

You are the widow/widower of the worker if, at the time the insured person died:

  • you and the worker were validly married; or
  • you would have the status of a husband or a wife for that person’s personal property if he or she had no will; or
  • you went through a marriage ceremony in good faith that would have been valid except for a legal impediment.

The minimum age for widow(er)’s benefits is 60, or 50 if disabled.            

Palacios Disability, P.A.
14221 S.W. 120th Street, Suite 228, Miami, Florida 33186
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